You don’t have to put off your dream of owning a house until returning from overseas as a military service member. While it’s not the most common scenario, it’s completely possible to use your VA loan while you’re on deployment. This could happen if you find yourself starting the homebuying process shortly before a deployment, or if circumstances change within your family while you are away.
With that being said, buying a home when you’re thousands of miles away is a little more complicated than a regular home purchase. But don’t worry – to help you navigate the process, we’ve put together this guide on using your VA loan on deployment.
How To Use Your VA Loan While On Deployment
Start your application online
You can start the process by visiting ovmfinancial.com/quickstart to begin your mortgage application. You can do this before you deploy or while you are gone – all you’ll need is access to the internet.
Appoint a power of attorney
To buy a home while you’re deployed, you’ll need to appoint a Power of Attorney (POA) to navigate the home buying process for you. While you are still able to complete your loan application online yourself, your POA will do things like apply for your Certificate of Eligibility through the VA and sign all required documents at closing.
Because you’ll be sharing sensitive financial information with your POA, it should be someone you trust. Most military service members choose their spouse, one of their family members, or a close friend to help them with their loan application and stand in for them at closing.
Not sure who to have as your acting POA? A great title company can appoint one of their attorneys on staff to do this for you. We have made this happen with many title companies that we’ve worked with, and we can help locate a good company for your situation should you need help finding one.
Understand occupancy requirement extensions and exceptions
Usually, VA loans require you to move into your house within 60 days of closing. If you’re deployed, however, you can receive an extension of up to 12 months. This allows you to buy a home while you’re deployed overseas and move in once you return to the United States.
On the other hand, if you’re married, you may not need to get an extension. You can meet the occupancy requirements of your loan by having your spouse move into the home while you’re away.
On closing day, you’ll need to let your OVM Loan Officer know that you’re alive and well before your Power of Attorney can sign the papers. Usually, you can do this with a simple phone call, but circumstances may require a formal letter from your supervisor. Your Loan Officer will help you through the process and keep you up to date on any required documentation.
What do spouses need to know?
Military spouses play an important role in the home buying process. They can serve as Power of Attorney, fulfill the occupancy requirements of VA loans, and even apply with their deployed spouse as a co-borrower.
If you or your loved one are overseas and circumstances change and the perfect house becomes available, it is still possible to move forward with buying a home – and you don’t have to do it alone.
At OVM, military families are taken care of by loan officers who are well-versed in VA loans. We understand the ins and outs of the VA loan process, and we will work with you while you’re on deployment to simplify each step.
As always, we’re here to answer any questions you have and help guide you through the process! Give us a call or start your application today.